Discover New Family Thrills in Southern California


By Heather Turk

There’s no better place for families to make lasting memories together than at one of Southern California’s thrilling theme parks. This summer, three area parks are giving guests even more to enjoy thanks to awesome new attractions visitors of all ages will want to experience.

At Disney California Adventure (Disney California Adventure), family members can go dancing with 20 of Luigi’s cousins at Cars Land’s newest attraction, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. The former site of Luigi’s Flying Tires, the attraction lets guests hop aboard miniature Italian roadsters as each car performs choreographed dance moves across a trackless “dance floor.” Since each roadster has his or her own routine, each ride is different based on which car riders choose and which song is playing. That rare attraction that’s just as fun to watch as it is to ride, guests might see the cars dancing to such classic songs as “Mambo Italiano” and “Eh, Cumpari” while they wait to board their vehicle. Just remember to buckle up, as you never know what moves Luigi’s cousins are about to bust out!

For families who would rather work on their ninja skills than their fancy footwork, NINJAGO The Ride at LEGOLAND California ( features technology never before seen at any North American theme park. Part of the Carlsbad resort’s new LEGO NINJAGO World, passengers on the interactive 3-D ride are guided through 13 different scenes as they demonstrate their ninja skills by using their hands instead of a hand-held device to throw fire balls, shock waves, and ice and lightning bolts at various villains. Cool 4-D elements are featured during the ride as well, adding to the immersive experience.

A scene from “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”

A scene from “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”

Families visiting California this summer can now also travel to Hogsmeade thanks to “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood ( In addition to dining on fabulous Fish and Chips at Three Broomsticks, watching a wand choose its wizard at Ollivanders and drinking Butterbeer, one of the attraction’s biggest draws is the groundbreaking “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride. Guests make their way through Hogwarts castle before soaring over its grounds, participating in a Quidditch match and even escaping dreaded Dementors. A mix of 3-D effects and larger-than-life-sized animatronics, this impressive motion-based ride is sure to cast a spell on everyone who rides it!

Regardless of which attraction your family experiences, guests are guaranteed a summer vacation they’ll never forget!


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